Preparing for an Excellent Retirement

Retirement 4When I first heard the Beatles’ “When I’m 64” it seemed like it would be forever before I got there. But here I am. Eligible for Medicare and Social Security. Where did the years go?

 

Now that we’re nearing retirement, it’s time to make sure that we’re properly prepared. That’s important. Retiring when you’re not prepared can be costly. And, unfortunately some financial mistakes cannot be easily corrected.

 

Estimate Your Retirement Income

 

Your plans call for a comfortable lifestyle. An occasional meal out and a visit to see the grands at least once a year. And that costs money. Have you estimated your expected income and expenses after retirement?

 

Begin with your income. For most of us that could include a pension, Social Security, income from savings and retirement accounts (401k, IRA) and perhaps some part-time income. It’s easiest if you figure everything in annual/yearly amounts.

 

Start with your Social Security income. Their website has an has an estimator <https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/estimator.html> that’s helpful. You’ll want to have your prior year’s earning amount handy when you visit their site.

 

Add to that any pensions you may have earned. Some may pay you in a monthly check from the pension fund. Others will purchase an annuity for you which will pay a regular income. The pension administrator will be able to tell you how much to expect.

 

Ask your financial advisor how much you can expect to get from your savings and retirement accounts. Traditionally it was assumed that you could expect to earn/spend 4% on your investments without depleting the principal. But some advisors have begun to question that assumption and use different calculations.

 

You may choose to work part-time. Either because you need the income or because you’d be bored without work. Do a rough estimate on how many hours you’ll work each week and how much you’ll earn per hour. Then multiply by 52 to get an annual estimate.

 

Estimate Your Retirement Expenses

 

Traditionally it was assumed that you’d spend less in retirement than you did while you were working. The rule-of-thumb estimate was that you’d spend between 70 and 80% of your pre-retirement expenses. Many planners still use that as a fair estimate.

 

But some suggest that with more time to spend on hobbies and travel that retirees could actually spend as much or even more than they did when working. You’re in the best position to know what lifestyle you expect after retirement. And that puts you in the best place to estimate your post-retirement expenses.

 

Start with your present expenses for a year. Then make the appropriate adjustments.

 

Review Your Estate Plans

 

Much as we’d like to think that we’ll live forever it’s time to recognize that’s simply not true. And that we need to make provisions for the end of our life or a time when we cannot care for ourselves.

 

If your affairs are simple it’s tempting to attempt to do-it-yourself. But this has some serious downsides that might not become apparent until it’s too late. It’s not as simple as writing “I leave everything to _____” on a napkin and signing it. There are laws to follow. And they’re not the same everywhere. Some inheritance rules are different in each state.

 

You may think that “everyone knows” that you want your car to go to Junior, but that might not hold water with the department of motor vehicles when he tries to reregister it. And banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions can be sticklers for following the rules.

 

Incapacitation is another issue. The laws saying who can make decisions for you if you become incapacitated are complex. Failure to follow them could leave you dependent on a state appointed guardian to make decisions for you. I prefer to have someone I trust make those decisions for me.

 

As a general rule you’ll need the following documents:

– a will providing instructions as to how your assets are to be distributed.

– a durable power of attorney listing on can act on your behalf

– health care power of attorney authorizes someone to make medical decisions for you

– living will states your wishes for life-sustaining measures if your prognosis is terminal.

 

In some cases, if you have a need for privacy or your affairs are complicated you may want to explore a Revocable Living Trust.

 

Spend a Little Time Learning About Retirement Finances

 

Retirement is a big change in your life. And a big change in your finances. In most cases the biggest change since you entered the workforce.

 

Not only will your income and expenses change, but Some financial issues will take on a new urgency while others fade in importance. This is not a time to put your finances on autopilot and assume that everything will work out for the best.

 

There is one big difference in retirement finances that can affect every decision you make. Unlike when you’re younger and working you do not have time on your side. Some decisions cannot be undone and a mistake could seriously affect your retirement lifestyle or your estate.

 

It’s wise to seek wise professional counsel and read quality information sources. Both will serve you well in this stage of your life.

Also, check out How to Use Your Emergency Fund In Retirement

 

author’s bio: Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and has shared sound personal finance advice since 1982. He founded <a href=”https://www.stretcher.com/index.cfm?KimHoward“>The Dollar Stretcher.com website href=”https://stretcher.com/subscribe/subscribeAFF.cfm?Kim Howard“>After 50 Finance newsletter</a>. Also by Gary Foreman: <a href=”https://www.stretcher.com/stories/18/18jul23c-how-to-use-emergency-fund-in-retirement.cfm?KimHoward“>How to Use Your Emergency Fund In Retirement</a>

 

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Adding a Game Room to Your Home for Your Golden Years

Game Room

As you prepare for your Golden Years, you likely are thinking about some changes you would like to make to your residence. One step that you will want to consider taking is adding a game room to your home as your consider alterations to your residence for your retirement.

 

A Great Place to Relax

A prime benefit of adding a game room to your residence is that it will provide you a great place to relax. As you enter your Golden Years, you may be like many people with a desire to be able to spend more time at your home. A game room will make spending time at a home even more attractive.

You can design a game room that includes your favorite activities. You can also add other features, like an entertainment center or a big screen television. You truly can make it the perfectly crafted space tp retreat, relax, and enjoy.

 

A Great Place to Entertain

You may have always enjoyed entertaining at home, but have not had a great deal of time to do so. As you prepare to retire, you may be thinking about entertaining at home with more regularity. You may have reached a point at which you are already thinking about the types of activities you may have at your home to entertain family and friends.

One nice addition you can make to your plans to entertain is to add a game room to your home. A great benefit of adding a game room is that it allows you the ability to entertain people of all ages with a game room. For example, you can have a special game night for your adult friends. In addition, you can have a special space for children when you have family gatherings at your home. A game room truly is a versatile space.

 

A Reasonably Priced Proposition

You don’t need to spend a proverbial arm and leg to add a game room to your residence in anticipation of retirement. In fact, if you are so inclined, you can undertake a good deal of creating a game room at your home on your own. In any ways, creating a game room is something of a do-it-yourself dream. You oftentimes can create the exact room you want, with a minimal commitment of time and treasure. In addition, you don’t need to be a highly experience craftsperson to accomplish the objective.

 

Games and Health

Another addition you can make to your home game room is fitness gear or equipment. There are products on the market in this day and age that essentially combine working out with personal challenges akin to achieving objectives when playing a favorite game. In addition, there is equipment available today that incorporates entertainment features into a workout regimen. This type of fitness equipment can be a logical addition to a game room in a retiree’s residence.

 

Gaming Computer Console

Another addition you can make to a residential game room designed for your Golden Years is a gaming computer console. You may be more interested in some “traditional” games and entertainments, including an old-school pinball machine. A pool table is a natural feature for your retirement residential game room.

However, if you have grandchildren, these young people are likely to be attracted to digital and online gaming alternatives. By outfitting a residential game room with a gaming computer console, you make the space highly attractive to younger visitors like your grandchildren. In addition, you may also find that you will start enjoying playing certain types of online or digital games.

Indeed, by installing a high quality gaming computer console in your game room, you may find yourself expanding your own horizons. You may also find yourself creating a new social outlet. For example, through online gaming, you may be able to connect with other similarly situated older individuals who are learning more about what is available when it comes to games online.

 

Additional Gaming and Entertainment Options

If you so desire, you can round out a residential game room with features like a bar. Through a bar, you can have available your favorite adult libations for your gaming session. In addition, you will be making an addition that will make a game room an even more idyllic space to entertain.

 

Hiring a Contractor

If you need to undertake some construction work to outfit a game room at your home, there are contractors with specific experience in this type of remodel. Take the time to reach out to multiple contractors and obtain multiple bids for your proposed project.

 

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Jessica Kane is a writer for The Pinball Company, the best online source for new, used, and refurbished pinball machines, arcade cabinets, and more!